The torn and blackened column
The Miracle of the Holy Light: Testimonies and evidence (VIDEO)
During the Pascha of 1549, the Armenians managed to bribe the Turkish Ruler in issuing a decree forbidding the Greek Orthodox Patriarch Sophronios 4th from entering the Church to perform the ceremony of the Holy Light. The guards closed the Holy Gate and Patriarch Sophronios 4th with his hierarchs and the faithful were left outside praying, and waiting for the development of events. Truly, the response of our Lord was immediate. Despite the hopeless efforts of the Armenian Patriarch, the Holy Light would not light up in the holy Edicule or anywhere else inside the Church. Instead, the Holy Light came out, passing through the column, which to this day appears cracked and blackened and with great surprise, it lit up the candles which the Orthodox Patriarch held in his hands. Subsequently, the Patriarch gave the Holy Light to the Orthodox faithful who were in the courtyard, while the Armenians left embarrassed. The Emir Tounom, who was a guard at the Holy Gate at the time, witnessed this wonderful event. This became the reason for him to believe and become a Christian. The Turks killed him so that no one would learn of the event. According to another version, when he perceived the miracle, he exclaimed to those gathered, "This is the true faith". The Turks for his conversion burned him alive. His relics today are kept at the monastery of the Great Theotokos. When the Sultan was informed of the miracle, he issued a "firman" (decree) recognizing the exclusive right for the receiving of the Holy Light to the Greek Orthodox Patriarch.